Boeing Starliner test flight delayed until 2022

NASA officially delayed the launch of Orbital Flight-Test 2 to next year as it continued its work on an issue with the oxidizer isolation valve on Boeing's Starliner spacecraft.
According to the agency, it stated in a blog that it is continuing to evaluate potential launch windows for this mission. The post states that the team is currently working towards opportunities in the first quarter of 2022, subject to hardware readiness, the rocket manifest, and availability to the space station.

Steve Stitch, NASAs Commercial Crew Program Manager, said that the issue was complex and affected parts of the spacecraft that arent easily accessible. This has required a methodical approach as well as sound engineering to examine effectively.

Boeing's Starliner is one vehicle that can transport passengers to the International Space Station. SpaceX's Crew Dragon is another. NASA required that each company launch an uncrewed test pilot, then a crewed flight. Starliner only has one uncrewed test flight so far. However, it experienced software problems before reaching the ISS.

Boeing had intended to fly the Starliner with no passengers in the summer, but NASA discovered problems with the propulsion valves of some spacecrafts hours before liftoff.

NASA announced earlier this week that it would be reassigning two astronauts to SpaceX flights instead of the Starliner flights. Josh Cassada and Nicole Mann will fly on the fifth crewed SpaceX mission, which is currently scheduled for fall 2022.